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New Christian Sentenced In Algeria For Organizing worship

A judge on June 16 handed a suspended prison sentence and a heavy fine to a Christian father of two in northwest Algeria for keeping worship in his house four days before another judge fined the landowner a church utilizes.

Prosecutors requested a six-month jail sentence and a fine of 500,000 Algerian dinars (US$ 4,200) for the 35-year-old dad in Mostaganem, a coastal town about 350 kilometers east of Algiers. Instead, the judge handed over the two-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 100,000 dinars ($840) to the new Christian, who asked for anonymity as he fears in the officially Muslim North African country for his life.

He was accused of organizing “Incredible but true, it was enough that a neighbor denounced him and accused him wrongly, and he is condemned, all because he welcomed a Christian couple to pray together,” said the area source, who cannot be identified for security reasons. “He is frightened and shocked by this accusation.” worship in his home under the notorious religion law of June 2006, commonly known as the 03/06 law, which prohibits non-Muslim worship for non-registered churches, for inviting a Christian couple to pray with him. The law stipulates that churches must obtain the permission of a national committee to be registered, but this committee has never met, and no church request has been officially considered or approved, sources said.

“Incredible but true, it was enough that a neighbor denounced him and accused him wrongly, and he is condemned, all because he welcomed a Christian couple to pray together,” said the area source, who cannot be identified for security reasons. “He is frightened and shocked by this accusation.”

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